Is the result of a case evidence, esp. with respect to perjury?

Suppose Mr. Bloggins testifies in a case, and is asked a point blank question like “Did you see the defendant commit aggravated mopery?” Mr. Bloggins say “Yes, I’m absolutely 100%. He moped, and it was very aggravated!”

Now, if the defendant is found not guilty, then this means the finder of fact (the judge) has determined that either he didn’t commit aggravated mopery, or there is some other reason to find him not guilty. As we all know, a finding of not guilty does not mean necessarily innocent. Maybe he had to mope for a justifiable reason.

But let’s say, that it is clear that there was no other reason to find somebody not guilty, because say the defense doesn’t present any defense, other than he didn’t do it.

Is Bloggins at any risk of being charged with perjury, based solely on the fact that the defendant is found not guilty? Or is there some principle, tradition or law that says you cannot use the result of a case as the sole evidence for perjury?

There’s jury nullification.

Fundamentally, to convict someone of perjury there has to be evidence that they lied, and in fact evidence beyond a doubt (or whatever the particular criminal standard is). As you pointed out, there are lots of reasons that a defendant could be acquitted besides a lying witness, so the mere fact that the defendant was acquitted is not evidence that the witness lied in court. If, in fact the defendant was acquitted because evidence that came out in the trial proved that the witness lied, then that evidence (and the first trial’s transcript) might be enough for a perjury conviction, but the mere outcome of the first trial doesn’t prove anything.
On a related note, in the OP that’s a horrible prosecuting attorney, both in how they coached their witness and how they asked the question. (In fact, wouldn’t the defense be objecting somewhere in the middle of that exchange?)

As you note, whether the defendant committed aggravated mopery depends on both law, facts, and the interpretation of those facts and application to the law by the judge/jury. The witness can’t testify about legal conclusions, only what they saw/heard. To shift the hypothetical crime, the witness can’t (or shouldn’t) say “The defendant first degree murdered the victim”. They can say “I saw the victim alive, then the defendant stabbed him sixty-four times (I’m kind of obsessive and happened to have a clicker-counter in my hand), after that I went over to the victim, and as I am a licensed medical doctor, declared the victim dead”.

Thanks for the reply. That was more or less what I thought but nice to have it confirmed, and so well put.

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As I recall from assorted cases in the news - to charge someone with perjury, the prosecutor needs 2 independent pieces of evidence that contradict a sworn statement. A verdict is not evidence.

For example, the prosecutor tried include perjury in the charges he brought against Martha Stewart. The “two pieces” he introduced were the secretary’s testimony contradicting what Martha said, and the secretary’s notes from the time. The judge tossed that in short order, since they were not deemed independent of each other - they were essentially the same evidence.

The reason to find someone “not guilty” is that the prosecution didn’t establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. Theoretically, the defendant could present no defense whatsoever beyond a stony-faced silence, and a jury could still find that the prosecution didn’t make a strong enough case. The defense does not have the burden of proof.

Are you familiar with the play/movie 12 Angry Men? The hero is a juror, who starts out as the lone vote for “not guilty”, and eventually convinces all the other jurors to vote likewise. At the end, someone asks him who he thought really committed the crime. He answers that it probably was the defendant… but that he has a reasonable doubt. Which is, in fact, exactly how it’s supposed to work.

As a slightly different spin on things could a witnesses testimony to location be used as evidence in a completely separate case either for the defendant or the witness later.

along the lines of “My client could not have been at 123 Main Street committing armed mopery when he had previously testified to have been at the scene of an aggravated mopery at 874 Town Road in a city 3 hours away.”

Nope. If the accused wants that evidence to go in, the accused has to testify at the second proceeding.

Now, if the trier of fact at the previous trial made a finding of fact to that effect, that might trigger issue estoppel, but the mere fact that the accused testified to that fact in the previous trial doesn’t mean it binds the second trial.